I, like most people I know, get anxious. I really liked the imagery Miller uses in this excerpt to describe how to deal with anxiety: "Instead of fighting anxiety, We can use it as a springboard to bending our hearts to God. Instead of trying to suppress anxiety, manage it, or smother it with pleasure, we can turn our anxiety toward God." The idea of bending our hearts back to God expresses both the inclination of our hearts to drift from God as well as the effort it takes to return it to a God-focused orientation. This is what the Christian walks is about; our effort coupled with God's efficacious enabling resulting in the sanctification of our prayer lives.
Most of us simply Want to get rid of anxiety. Some hunt for a magic pill that will relieve the stress. Others pursue therapy. While antidepressants and counseling have helped many people, including me, the search for a “happy pill” or “happy thoughts” will not stop our restless anxiety. It runs too deep.
Instead of fighting anxiety, We can use it as a springboard to bending our hearts to God. Instead of trying to suppress anxiety, manage it, or smother it with pleasure, we can turn our anxiety toward God. When We do that, we’ll discover that we’ve slipped into continuous praying ...
What does an unused prayer link look like? Anxiety. Instead of connecting with God, our spirits fly around like severed power lines, destroying everything they touch. Anxiety wants to be God but lacks God’s Wisdom, power, or knowledge. A godlike stance without godlike character and ability is pure tension. Because anxiety is self on its own, it tries to get control. It is unable to relax in the face of chaos. Once one problem is solved, the next in line steps up. The new one looms so large, we forget the last deliverance.
Oddly enough, it took God to show us how not to be godlike. Jesus was the first person who didn’t seek independence. He wanted to be in continuous contact with his heavenly Father. In fact, he humbled himself to death on the cross, becoming anxious so we could be free from anxiety. Now the Spirit brings the humility of Jesus into our hearts. No longer do we have to be little gods, controlling everything. Instead, we cling to our Father in the face of chaos by continuously praying. Because we know we don’t have control, we cry out for grace. We become anxious when we take a godlike stance, occupying ourselves with things too great for us. We return to sanity by becoming like little children, resting on our mothers. (Miller, Paul E. A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2009. Print. 70-71, emphasis mine)